Posted by lex, on March 27th, 2011
The US Marines are showing the citizens of Sendai what the first part of General James Mattis’ dictum “No better friend, no worse enemy” means:
Roughly 20,000 U.S. troops have been mobilized in “Operation Tomodachi,” or “Friend.” It is the biggest bilateral humanitarian mission the U.S. has conducted in Japan, its most important ally in Asia, and it is ramping up fast.
As logistics gradually improve, U.S. troops have been moving farther into hard-hit zones and providing tons of relief supplies and badly needed manpower to help the hundreds of thousands of Japanese whose lives were shattered in the March 11 disaster.
In a part of Japan that hosts few U.S. bases, the Americans in uniform are a high-profile presence.
“To be honest, I didn’t think much about the U.S. troops until now,” said Arika Ota, 29, who works at an amusement center in the coastal city of Sendai. “But when I see them working at the airport every day, I’m really thankful. They are working really hard. I never imagined they could help us so much.”
Their grandfathers learned the second part for themselves.